Star Trek was right — there is only one final frontier, and that is space...
Human beings are natural explorers, and nowhere is this frontier spirit stronger than in the United States of America. It almost defines the character of the US. But the Earth is running out of frontiers fast.
In Brian Clegg's The Final Frontier we discover the massive challenges that face explorers, both human and robotic, to uncover the current and future technologies that could take us out into the galaxy and take a voyage of discovery where no one has gone before… but one day someone will. In 2003, General Wesley Clark set the nation a challenge to produce the technology that would enable new pioneers to explore the galaxy. That challenge is tough — the greatest we've ever faced. But taking on the final frontier does not have to be a fantasy.
In a time of recession, escapism is always popular — and what greater escape from the everyday can there be than the chance of leaving Earth's bounds and exploring the universe? With a rich popular culture heritage in science fiction movies, books and TV shows, this is a subject that entertains and informs in equal measure.
British science writer Clegg (Extra Sensory) reveals the technological and social challenges we must deal with in order to launch ourselves farther into the universe. Throughout history, explorers have sought knowledge, riches, and new lands to claim, but Clegg warns that this final frontier will demand far more of us than any previous exploration. Humans will need to develop more efficient technologies for everything from getting out of Earth's gravity well to turning space-based resources into building materials, fuel, water, and breathable air. We'll also need to create and sustain long-term political and social interests in space exploration to ensure the funding that can make it a reality. Clegg offers potential ways to make exploration "pay," including space tourism, mining, and Mars One, a reality TV show-based scheme to get humans on Mars an idea that's equally disturbing and tantalizing. Clegg sets his book apart from others through his thoughtful survey of fictional space exploration in books, films, and television, providing examples of adaptations and threats both social and technological that we'd face in space. Covering a wide range of topics from space elevators and solar sails to space arks and hardscrabble "frontier" colonies, Clegg offers readers much to think about.